[Jandek] Corwood 0779 DVD: Glasgow Sunday

Danen D. Jobe djobe at uark.edu
Wed Jun 14 14:32:55 PDT 2006

And so does Jandek enter the digital age...

DVD showed up today, the cover being identical to the CD of 0779.  The difference is on the back and I've provided a scan of this (sorry for the file size). Interestingly, the songs aren't listed here, but ARE listed on the back of the inside card.  And the film?

It's a revelation. Really. I can honestly say that I've been more excited about the AUDIO releases of upcoming Corwood projects than the DVDs. Plus, it's taken so long - I started to assume that he may have scrapped the idea. Instead Corwood has sent out its most daring project to date.

Daring because the fourth wall comes down and we get up close and personal with the Corwood Representative (and band).  The DVD includes three options for viewing: Camera 1, Camera 2 and a mix of both. Depending on which you pick you can then choose to watch either one song at a time or "play all."  

Camera 1 is the REALLY daring thing, as 90% of the time it's focused in zoom exclusively on the man from Corwood. You see every facial expression (including the "speculative look" he gets when he seems to be deciding which song to do next, flipping pages in a file folder). You also see his guitar styles and get a real look at him "rocking out" (as he does throughout, but especially on "Real Wild.") It's interesting to see his interpretation of the lyrics (he makes some very sarcastic faces at a few of the lyrics).  He also smiles at the applause.

That point says a lot - when the film starts we get a short period where the band is setting up (and only a green light elucidates the stage) and he's putting the guitar on.  When the full lights rise, it's obvious that the man is nervous. REAL nervous. He starts each song and nods little things to the bandmembers.  After each applause, he relaxes a bit more until, at the end, he looks thoroughly relaxed. This is more the artist that I saw in Austin. This show is the experience of watching him transform from a man who is obviously not sure if this thing is gonna work to someone who is enjoying himself.

Camera 2 is largely from the back of the place (and at times zooms in on Alex and Richard, occasionally catching audience members). The mix, of course, is the best way to see the show.  It's curious to see how at ease Alex in particular is.  Richard jumps around rocks out, but Alex is grinning from ear to ear, pulling some cool percussive tricks. Both are obviously on top of the world. The communication is already on between the three of them.  

The DVD goes for $16 new (or $8 each in a pack of twenty). It is WELL WORTH THE MONEY.  I hope he continues to release them - an interesting perspective on the artist BUT also a whole new thing in Corwood history.  Up to this point photographic images have been cryptic, to say the least. A mix of boyhood photographs and travel journals, freezing expressions from moments we can never be completely certain about. This is the show as played by three men in front of an audience who had no idea what was going on.  

Curious to get responses from others, as I've had a stronger reaction to this than I expected. VERY excited about 'Newcastle Sunday' - and I wonder if, now that he knows how he wants them to look, shows will come out more contemporary to their audio versions.

Whatever, this is great stuff. A classic moment captured.

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