[Jandek] thoughts on Newcastle Sunday

Simon Greenwood simon.greenwood at mac.com
Mon Mar 6 23:42:59 PST 2006

I can tell you about 1) and 2) as I was there. Mr Smith was using a  
Line6 amp which has a built in multi effects box and his guitar  
looked new so the strings were probably fresh. The overall effect was  
like hearing bicycle strings played  through a washing machine, but  
contributed to the general wall of sound effect. The applause ran on  
for some time after each song so it was probably faded to reduce the  
running time a little (are the discs both about 40 minutes long? I  
haven't checked yet).

Of course the two missing things from the CDs are the guitar cable  
unravelling at the beginning and the broken guitar string incident  
where he stood stock still looking at his fingers for five minutes  
while the string was replaced offstage, two incredibly uncomfortable  
moments for this watcher at least. It seemed incredibly embarrassing  
to Smith and to the audience but there was little or no  
acknowledgement as to what was going on offstage so it was still hard  
to work out how he felt about the packed crowd.


On 7 Mar 2006, at 02:15, stacey graham wrote:

> Just my initial thoughts upon receiving the new double disc live set
> from Aquarius Records online:
> 1)  That guitar sound he gets sounds like a digital effects box with a
> phasing (or very slow chorus) and digital delay.  Too clean to be
> effects pedals.  That swirling sound, after about 3 or 4 songs starts
> to numb the mind the very same way as smoking ditchweed does.  I mean
> that in the best possible way, by the way...
> 2)  The crowd noise fades between songs.  I wonder why?  I'm sure
> there were reasons, like he wished to alter the running order of the
> songs or something.
> 3)  The cover looks like another photoshop job.  A castle with lush
> green lawn against a white sky.  Too white.  The edges of the castle
> look trimmed off and set against a pure white background.  I'm going
> to tint mine with some watercolors tonight.
> 4)  Man he's depressed.  At least on side one.
> 5)  Sound is pretty good.  The drums and bass get lost sometimes in
> that never-changing guitar swirl.  I can only compare it to the other
> live set I have (his first appearance) where you can hear the bassist
> doing his Holger Czukey from Can imitation, up and down and up and
> down.
> I don't believe how some people say that he is oblivious to his
> audience out here in the world, at least not any more.  He has to know
> how rabid a following he has by the reactions at his gigs, at the
> respect and obvious love his audiences are showing towards him and his
> music.  I think his body of work stands up against almost anything
> else out there, on the level of a John Coltrane or Sun Ra or Miles
> Davis!
> --
> Stacey Graham
> Minneapolis  MN  USA
> http://aflowercallednowhere.blogspot.com
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