[Jandek] Khartoum review from this week's Aquarius Records list

stephen barry stephen.barry at arup.com
Tue Nov 15 01:32:49 PST 2005

"depressed words and 
sometimes excruciatingly miserable wail, one that 
at times reminds us of Oxbow's Eugene Robinson."

That's it exactly!  Never caught this now-obvious comparison myself.
Had the pleasure of supporting Oxbow when they came through my way - man
- that Eugene guy is scary...

-----Original Message-----
From: jandek-bounces at mylist.net [mailto:jandek-bounces at mylist.net] On
Behalf Of Jonathan Lee
Sent: 15 November 2005 00:11
To: jandek at mylist.net
Subject: [Jandek] Khartoum review from this week's Aquarius Records list

JANDEK  "Khartoum"  (Corwood Industries)  cd  8.98
       The 43rd album from the one and only Jandek 
is here! Doing his very distinct thing on 
acoustic guitar and vocals, a style that has 
become known to music nerds far and wide as 
"Jandekian", Khartoum is yet another dark, downer 
trip into this hermitic Texan's psyche. Well, 
maybe he's not so hermitic anymore, but even now 
that he's actually making public appearances 
(only 27 years after he released his first LP), 
his music remains as raw and mysterious as ever. 
And "Jandekian" hasn't lost its meaning. Khartoum 
consists of alienated, atonal strum-und-twang, 
teamed with loosely demented vocals, sometimes 
quietly spoken, sometimes pitched to a warbling 
holler, delivered with the stream of conciousness 
lyrical logic of a homeless poet. These songs, 
with titles like "You Wanted To Leave", 
"Fragmentation", "I Shot Myself", "In A Chair I 
Stare", and "Fork In The Road", seem fixated on 
past (broken) relationships, forgiveness, regret, 
and despair. Our attempt to transcribe the lyrics 
of "I Shot Myself" produced the following: "I 
shot myself I can't get up I am beyond repair I 
shot myself I'm over some hill beyond the valley 
stars in the black night sun filters through 
forgetting a mountain time slides in my mind and 
I know what it is its time to die..."  Something 
like that. Or, from "New Dimension", another of 
Khartoum's eight tracks: "You're married, I 
presume I'm not looking but if you're not be 
careful I'm the vulnerable kind I love to hurt 
myself I hurt myself in love and I don't care and 
all the spirits in the spirit world don't equal 
you because you're gone and I took you for 
granted and I miss you so." It's a soul laid 
bare, speaking directly but in such an 
idiosyncratic manner that it will only be heard 
by those with a will to listen. Seriously, his 
scrabble of strings and chaotic chording provides 
almost a respite from his depressed words and 
sometimes excruciatingly miserable wail, one that 
at times reminds us of Oxbow's Eugene Robinson. 
So... another fine addition to any fan's sagging 
Jandek shelf!

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