Subject: Re: [Jandek] the units: a dua

Frank Hardy soccerdude219 at
Mon Jun 12 09:55:33 PDT 2006

It's pretty much impossible to construct a timeline, but I like to think the albums are in chronological order, which the exception of Modern Dances, which should have come before Follow Your Footsteps (perhaps he lost that tape temporarily?). Aside from that oddity, the recordings show (at least to me) a natural progression of ideas from record to record- indeed, they often seem to travel in stylistic pairs. I always assumed he started recording in the late 60's, though someone on the list mentioned that he couldn't have because of some shit about how the recording quality of Ready for the House was impossible to achieve before the late 70's, but I don't believe him. Jandek sounds far too young to have been in his 30's when that first record was recorded. 

  As for the cover photos, I'd say they're no indication of his age on the recording- if they were, we'd have to assume he recorded "Chair Beside a Window" when he was about nine! Nor are the Zappa and Beefheart references- just because you reference a particular artist on a recording doesn't mean it's from the same era. But yeah, it seems like there's some patchwork going on in the late 80's records- "Alehouse Blues" and "Upon the Grandeur" seem to belong more on "You Walk Alone" than "One Foot in the North". Perhaps they were extra recordings from the Eddie sessions that hadn't fit. OR everything IS in chronological order and it just reflects the fact that Eddie started to come around less and less, until he stopped showing up entirely. We'll never know of course.
  Incidentally, this kind of stuff is the only element of mystery left in the Jandek world.
  Here's an idea, though: Jandek is from Rhode Island originally, as we know from someone at one of his shows who said she knew Smith as a kid. Could those mysterious "white house" shots actually be of suburban Rhode Island, and not Houston as we've always assumed? 

  F. Hardy
Michael Mellor <miquelotjr at> wrote:
    all very intriguing re The Units & possible personal. does anyone else get the impression that Ready for the House was compiled from the best (or most idiosyncratic) stuff SRS had composed over the previous few years, and then credited to The Units out of nostalgia for a band that had already fizzled out?
  i get the impression that a lot of the material released during the 80s may have been randomly cobbled together much earlier (given the handful of pop-cultural references; the Zappa / Beefheart style weirdness of Telegraph Melts, Modern Dances, etc; the youthfulness of SRS on the cover of albums like Follow Your Footsteps, where he's clearly rocking out in the basement as a teen)
  anyone else tried to construct a timeline? is Twelfth Apostle (i.e. Judas) Jandek's ironic farewell to his electric band at the end of the 1980s? or simply the first solo acoustic record he's been able to put out since he ran out of all the blues songs to release that he (hypothetically) had saved up before arriving at the sound we all tend to think of as quintessential Jandek (i.e. the first four: RFTH, 6&6, Later On, Chair Beside a Window)...?!?
  Michael M
  miquelotjr at
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