[Jandek] Responding to a post from October

Dave Parent dave9199 at lycos.com
Tue Nov 15 03:45:26 PST 2005

>Since I'm new to the list, I'm not sure if this has come up for
>discussion much, but having listened to two of his vocals and bass
>albums today (The Gone Wait and Raining Down Diamonds), and read Seth's
>description where he is presuming either upright acoustic bass, or
>electric bass with a slide, let me offer my own quick analysis as a
>bassist myself.
>I think Jandek is actually playing electric fretless bass on these
>albums.  Having listened to them as a bass player, in my opinion there
>is no way he could be playing such violent sounding double-stops on
>upright - that instrument just isn't able to be played that way.
>There's also a lot more microtonality present on the bass albums than
>on Jandek's guitar-based work. Since there's a lot of chordal playing
>on the bass albums, and given how Jandek seems to chord his stringed
>instruments, I don't think using a slide would have been possible
>Just my two cents filtered through 20-plus years with the instrument. :)
>CJ Marsicano

I was listening to Raining Down Diamonds today and thought of this post quoted above and I disagree. I think if he had a bass in his hands, like a guitar with the strings going from up to down instead of left to right as on an upright bass, he would be playing the bass just like he plays guitar and with a pick (just a guess on the pick part). He clearly is favoring the lower strings. If it was a bass guitar, I think we'd hear more strings being played more often. Also the tone sounds just like acoustic basses I've listened to on jazz records. I'm not making light of your 20 years on bass, I've just always thought it was an acoustic.

Then again, I thought the instrument used on songs like A Real Number was an electric organ that used air and had a volume pedal rather than an accordian (which I think it is now & is pretty much the same thing). I based that one having an organ like that around when I grew up and the volume fluctuations which reminded me of this instrument. I don't know if an accordian can make the same fluctuations of sound as I've had no experience with playing one.


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