[Jandek] Khartoum All Music Guide Review

Frank Hardy soccerdude219 at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 5 10:46:45 PST 2006

If I'm a troll for A) trying to start a discussion on this list and/or B) daring to be critical of our darling Jankface, then so be it. 
  I find his poetry in the earlier years to be a lot more interesting. He used more metaphors and his often surreal images were (at their best) beautifully haunting. Nowadays he just isn't as interesting. It's still compelling in its way, but there's something distrubingly transparent about it.  
  Take this song from "Khartoum":
  I donít know what to do except 
Sit in a chair 
All else is too difficult 
Maybe walk around 
Once in a while 
But quick, back to that chair 
Black out my desires 
Black out visions of things that are not real 
Take stock of all the thoughts 
And put them away 
Iím at the mercy of my brain 
I canít control what appears 
I canít control my reactions 
Iím stuck in a chair 
With no one else around the place 
Itís a crooked demise 
Itís a benign appearance 
I really donít need some support 
I guess we had a total communications breakdown 
The words were not received 
It doesnít matter where came the rejection 
Stuck in a chair I stare
  Certainly powerful but to me it's less of a poem and more of a journal entry. And there's nothing wrong with that- it's a good write, but it's pretty much the only sort of thing he ever talks about now: she left me, I'm incredibly depressed, I can't even move, I'm getting older and still I don't know the answers. He's written the same song dozens of times, and hearing them unrelenting one after another produces an effect of diminishing returns for me. His stuff in the old days often ran along the same lines, but I feel like he had a lot more ideas back then. It's hard to imagine him writing something as purely poetic as "Jessica", or as darkly humorous as "Comedy"; it's hard to imagine him writing something as intriguingly weird as "This is a Death Dream" or "Message to the Clerk" or powerfully dense as "She Fell Down" nowadays, the latter of which I think says more about the unforgiving nature of real life than anything he's put out since he picked up his guitar again. Sure, he'd
 occasionally break the haze with something direct and personal like "White Box Requiem", but don't forget the album the followed it was "I Woke Up", which was totally different, seeking in a way to set "White Box" apart. But these days he's just singin' the same tune these days, and for me it's getting a bit duller each time.
  Christopher tm <xopher.tm at gmail.com> wrote:
  On 2/4/06, Frank Hardy wrote:

> Thoughts?

Trolls suck?


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