[Jandek] My Jandek Survey, and a Thanks

Lauren Ciechanowski ciechano at stolaf.edu
Thu Apr 27 17:46:46 PDT 2006

Thanks to all of you who have completed my survey! I am starting the
writing process this evening, but don't let that stop you from completing
it if you haven't already. I decided that it would only be fair if, as a
large number of you have posted yours to the list, I post mine for you all
to read.

I have to say, it took me a while to fill it out; makes me all the more
gracious for those of you who chose to do so. Thanks again, and I look
forward to posting more in the future.


Are you male or female?


How old are you?

What part of the world do you come from?

Chicago orginally, and now south of Minneapolis

How did you get into Jandek? What is your ‘story’?

As a Wilco fan, I heard that Jeff Tweedy was contributing a song to a
tribute album for 'Jandek,' whoever the heck that was. I heard his track
('Crack a Smile') and thought it was an amazing song. Though the Wilco
community seemed to think that Jandek recorded bizarre, unlistenable
music, I thought iff "Crack a Smile" wasn't bad, then his collection
couldn't be so awful. I came across Seth's site, and was immediately
intrigued by the fan culture surrounding Jandek.

I am very interested in how fan cultures create identities - as a
community, and as individuals within the community. I visit roughly 6
message boards a day for musicians I enjoy, though I mostly go because I
enjoy observing the interactions of board members. I decided to join the
list in December with plans to conduct an ethnography on Jandek fans,
though I do intend to remain active on the list with the project is over.

How do you define being a Jandek fan? Do you consider
yourself a Jandek fan?

Hmm. I suppose that a Jandek fan would be someone who subscribes to this
list and/or owns more than one album; not least of all, the fan is one who
likes the music as much as the 'mystique'. I would consider myself a
Jandek fan. Though I think people try to separate themselves from it, I
think Jandek fans are very much into learning about the myth initially.
Eventually, they either choose to accept the myth in their fandom, or
reject it and choose to focus on the music and not the myth.

Why did you join the mailing list? How often do you
post? Do you use the digest format?

I receive in digest format, and I joined because I enjoyed the discussions
I read in the archive. I post somewhat infrequently.

What do your friends and family think about Jandek?

My parents thinks it is rather bizarre that I write to a man in Houston
who sends me boxes of his 'abysmal' music. My sister has stopped worrying
about my music obsessions. My friends aren't surprised that I've found a
new musician to immerse myself in, nor surprised it's so bizarre. No one
likes his music. Either boring or repulsive too them.

To what extent does the ‘myth of Jandek’ – the mystery
The myth of Jandek initially appealed to me very much, but then the larger
discourse of the fan community ultimately became more compelling. I feel
as if there is a definite dialectic that occurs between Jandek and the
fans that is pivotal to the generation of his mystique; fans have worked
to cultivate this mystique almost more than Corwood has.

Have you ever tried to contact Corwood Industries or
Sterling Smith for reasons other than placing an
order? What happened?

Initially I bought four Jandek albums in December, through FE. At the end
of January, I wrote to Corwood and received CDs and a note in return. I
then sent away for the remaining albums, and have bought the previous two
as they have been released, through Corwood. I'm a completist, in this
case to my own detriment.

What is your perception of other Jandek fans?

They are articulate, sincere, and varying in reasons for listening to
Jandek. Ultimately, I find the community to be very open and respectful to
dialogue. Such as the person behind Jandek seems to be a normal guy with a
wacky hobby, that could pretty much describe most of this list as well.

Why do you like Jandek?
I feel like Jandek's music is kind of like a monkey swinging in a vacant
brain. Might be all the reverb that gets me thinking that. His music and
lyrics are very organic and honest.

How often do you listen to Jandek?
Since I've been working on this project, nearly daily. I usually listen to
music by choosing 10 albums by random integer generator, and then going
through that playlist. Make another one when that one's through.

What other music do you listen to?
Wilco and all of its side projects, Sonic Youth, Jim O'Rourke,
Sleater-Kinney, Elliott Smith, Belle & Sebastian, Bob Dylan. Pretty run of
the mill stuff, but also some noise/experimental stuff. I just got a
turntable and purchased some Edith Piaf and Soviet Army Chorus records.

Is there anything I have not asked that you would like
to tell me?

In the vein of most responses to this question, my shoe size is 11.
However, apparently women with big feet don't exist, therefore, I usually
wear size 9.5 in men's.

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