[Jandek] Iron & Wine & Jandek?

Tim Conklin tconklin69 at hotmail.com
Fri Apr 21 12:30:26 PDT 2006

I'm friends with Troy Tague, the current drummer for Iron & Wine, and a 
couple of weeks ago, we got into a discussion about Jandek. Troy'd never 
heard of them*, but I told him that I'd lay even odds that Sam Beam (the 
creative force behind I&W) had.

Anyway, I ripped him a copy of "Ready ..." for him to give a listen. And 
Troy, to his credit, liked it. And said he'd bring it along for I&W's 
upcoming tour, as apparently the guys in the band like to one-up each other 
with "Oh yeah? Well hear this!"

Iron & Wine's month-long European tour begins tonight in Manchester, 
England, home of my beloved Red Devils. I encourage any Europeans on this 
list who are fans of the low-fi alt-folk thing (which I'm assuming means 
most of you) to make it out to see them, as I do think they're quite good, 
friendship with the drummer aside.

And if, by some chance, the pre-concert mix includes some Jandek, let me 
know here. I'm curious to find out, and I'd get a kick out of it.

* I'm in the camp that thinks "Jandek" is meant to be a collective term  -- 
i.e. "Corwood representative Sterling Smith is the primary (and sometimes, 
sole) creative force behind Jandek," rather than "Sterling is Jandek." Or 
better yet, Sterling Smith is to Jandek as Sam Beam is to Iron & Wine -- 
they're most definitely each man's vision. Even when Sam plays solo, he's 
billed as "Iron & Wine," but nobody goes up to him after the show and says, 
"Great job, um, Iron ... and Wine." Or maybe someone has, but I'm guessing 
his response would be, "It's Sam. And thanks."

I think this is why Mr. Smith does the semantic dance of disavowing that 
he's "Jandek" and instead has others refer to him officially -- especially 
since he started playing live -- as a "representative of Corwood." Don't 
know if -- or how vehemently -- this has been debated before (I've lurked 
this board for several years, but only recently joined), but you're free to 
disagree with me on this one. My guess, though, is that if someone ever ran 
into Mr. Smith after a show and said, "Great show, Jandek," his response 
would be, "My name's not Jandek. But thanks."

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