[Jandek] Spoken Word Albums, Jandek Day

Frank Hardy soccerdude219 at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 2 16:57:04 PST 2005

You know, I'm actually an idiot, because I forgot that I really love "I Went Outside", because the absolute isolation of the lone voice fits great with the lyrics. I was being sarcastic anyway when I said no one likes the spoken word albums (seriously, who is that cut and dry about something as ethereal as musical taste?) So yeah, some of it's pretty cool, but I'd appreciate it more if he'd only done it for one or two tracks. It's the three albums of it non-stop that I really would imagine nobody in their right mind could handle, even Smith himself. 
And yeah, Jandek is unconventional, but he could be a hell of a lot weirder. I mean, whether of not it's accessible to a large audience, his music still has a beat, (usually) coherent, rhyming lyrics, and a key (whether he sticks do it vocally is another story). What if everything he did was like "the Electric End"? There are bands like that. 
Lyrically, he's usually talking about common human emotions and concerns; it shares a lot with folk or blues traditions. Take Blue Corpse: it's bascially an album of loosly structured folkish songs with a singer who has little regard for accurate pitch. I don't know much about the avant-garde (Jandek is its lone representative on my CD shelf,  sitting in between Jack's Mannequin and Jawbreaker), but I'd have to guess he's probably in the more conventional part the avant-garde spectrum. That's why the spoken word albums are so weird, because he took away even those few elements of conventional music that he'd left in. It's not really music at all, just poetry. The leap to appreciating those is like the leap one might take from pop music to Jandek in the first place- quite daunting. 
On an unrelated note, I believe Jandek day is coming up; if it's on a weekend I plan to listen to every Jandek album I own. It'll take about four hours probably, but I really want to find out what sort of mental state I'll be in by the end. Will I be overcome with the sensation of floating down a river to Madrid? Maybe. Will I start rambling incoherently? Quite possibly. Will I need a drink? Undoubtedly.
I invite others to join me!
Phil Harwell <paharwell at yahoo.com> wrote:
> 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.

Well, I do happen to like Put My Dream On This Planet,
mainly because of It's Your House. But, I'm not
really all that font of This Narrow Road (just goes to
show, I had to look up the title), but it's more
lyrical content than style. As for Worthless Recluse,
I have no opinion because I don't readily remember the
contents thereof.

That said, I take far too many pills thank you very
much, but I could use a vacation.

As a group of people who are into a very
unconventional artist, why is it so hard to believe
there are those that who like his least accessible material?


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