[Jandek] Helsinki

Frank Hardy soccerdude219 at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 23 19:46:00 PST 2005

That's the paradox- anyone who listened to it enough could make a Jandek pastiche with virutally no prior musical experience but only Jandek can truly make Jandek music. Or can he? Was there something special about Jackson Pollock or was he just the one of the first to have the balls to present something so brazenly anti-artistic as art? Is art devalued if anyone can make it? If an experienced art critic can't tell the difference between a four-year old's accidentally cool-looking finger paint and a serious artist's latest work, does it make the latter seem like a fool? Does any of it really matter? Probably not. It never has to me, at least. You can find poetry in a newspaper article, you can find art in a pile of laundry. Babies think cardbard boxes are the greatest toys in the world, even though they aren't meant as such. I think the most imporant thing with art is what you take from it, not whether it's sincere or insincere or whether it's even meant to be art. Stuff to ponder.
  Q Q <the.cat.in.the.hat.sh at gmail.com> wrote:
  On 11/21/05, Al wrote:
>Is it a bluff?

I will say that I am in no way a fan of Jandek. I find him quite
annoying. That said, I enjoy difficult music and I especially enjoy
understanding any music and the artist that presents it. I went to see
Jandek live in Austin Texas precisely so I could ascertain if the last
thirty years (or however long it has been) of oddities was really
meaningful to him.

Of course, as I have said before here (at least I think I have since I
don't see my posts to the list), the Austin show was a big let down
for me, but only in terms of the artists chosen to accompany Jandek. I
had to spend half the show coming to terms with the vagaries of the
performance, but by the end of the show, I did feel that Jandek was
not pretending, and that Jandek was one of those musicians so far
beyond our pop culture that even these backup musicians were left in
the dust.

I used to perform in a band in Houston in the mid 80's that did
exactly the kind of music I saw/heard that night in Austin - but our
sounds were without the Jandek influence. We performed as a joke and
led people on that we thought we were real and very good. We used to
sit around at parties in those days and play tapes of our
performances, again to try to convince people we were really into our
sound and music.

Our band had a revolving set of members, many who had no idea how to
play the instruments they were playing, but just wanted to be on stage
in a band. When the music started at the Jandek show in Austin, I was
hearing in my mind one of those old performances of that 80's band I
was in, but one of the performances I found extrememly unappealing
(believe me, after hearing those tapes over and over, I came to hear
some of the improvisations as better than the others, and so did the
other members of the band). Thus, at first I was completely depressed
that this appeared to be the same schtick we used to do 20 years ago.
But as I made myself focus on the specifics of the performance, I came
to realize where the differences lay.

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