[Jandek] Khartoum: Dusted Review vs. Paul Condon vs. All MusicGuide Review

Collins, Brendan G BCOLLINS at sjmc.org
Tue Feb 7 14:25:02 PST 2006

"But I have a problem with reviews that don't seem to bother to attempt
to engage with the music. [...] The classic example of this is
Irwin Chusid."

Irwin Chusid was one of the single most powerful driving forces behind
giving Jandek significant publicity.  Made a lot of people actually want
to listen to something that the majority of the population wouldn't
necessarily like.  He certainly could have written one of the
quasi-intellectual reviews that a lot of folks like to scribble out when
referring to Jandek, though he didn't.  He doesn't like the music, so he
didn't pretend to simply for the sake of posterity.  His Jandek
commentaries are Chusidesque (which, as it turns out, is the opposite of

Can't blame a guy for giving his opinion.  I have to say, many of his
comments are given much more thought than the average "This guy sucks"
or "What the heck is that?" verbal spoutings the general populace likes
to spew with when in proximity of a Jandek recording.  Irwin may not
agree with you that Jandek is a genius - but he'll put some thought into
what he's saying to the contrary.

Irwin, incidentally, doesn't feel that Jandek is about the music.  He
has, in fact, said:

"Jandek's not about music. It's about a 27-year-and-counting conceptual
art endeavor, encompassing 40 albums, an obsessive sense of
contrarianism, an enigmatic persona, toss-off album art, improvised
recordings that are intended to confuse when they don't repel, a
self-conscious unmarketability, a studied rejection of any and all
musical fashion, and a general disdain for the protocols of artistic

Publicity's what Jandek needed to gain a fan base, and Irwin Chusid
provided it.  I believe him to be very entertaining, as well.  


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