[Jandek] Re: jandek Digest, Vol 54, Issue 173 (Niagra Blues)

Danen D. Jobe djobe at uark.edu
Sat Sep 2 20:34:41 PDT 2006

I've been thinking about 
> writing a (likewise) fictionalized account of "Corwood Industries" 
> that would be a late night TV drama, sporadically watched by my own 
> novel's protagonist, alongside the rest of the action. Something 
> that would never appear in the listings, and few people would ever 
> be able to tune in to...

I'm trying to imagine the network that would carry it. Sounds like a trip!

>  Can't find Niagra Blues at Myspace just yet, but will check out 
> Single Cell press.

Just wanted to note that it IS up - www.myspace.com/niagrablues.

>  Good luck!
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> Today's Topics:
> 1. Jandek Fictional Biography Forthcoming; Author to Read/Sign
> in Toronto & Chicago (Danen D. Jobe)
> From: "Danen D. Jobe" <djobe at uark.edu>
> Subject: [Jandek] Jandek Fictional Biography Forthcoming;
> Author to Read/Sign in Toronto & Chicago
> Date: Fri, 01 Sep 2006 00:18:45 -0500
> To: jandek at mylist.net
> Okay.
> So I've sent out dozens of press releases and spent a solid year 
> now working on this, and yet this is the email I've had the most 
> difficulty composing. Really - started and stopped it six or seven 
> times in the last three weeks. If you want the short of it, skip a 
> paragraph or two. But for THIS list - people I genuinely care about 
> and trust - I want to give an idea of what writing this has been 
> like. So here goes:
> As a few of you know, I've been working on a fictitious biography 
> based on Jandek, written with Corwood's cooperation and approval. 
> It uses the Jandek name, song titles, lyrics, album covers, music 
> descriptions, etc though it in NO way is to be mistaken for the 
> REAL story of Jandek. Rather, this is culled from - literally - 
> HUNDREDS of hours of listening to the music, discussions with a few 
> people involved with Corwood at one point or another, numerous back 
> and forth letters to and from Houston, a chapbook publication that 
> caused me to destroy (by fire, thank you) EVERYTHING and start over 
> - this being exactly one week before my thesis reading at the 
> University of Arkansas (which I've been writing this project for). 
> Coming up with the RIGHT story, finally, for said reading and then 
> spending the summer hammering out some 200 pages of sprawling 
> story, followed by me asking Corwood if they thought it might be a 
> good idea for me to read in Chicago and Toronto (they agreed), an
> d me thinking, "you know, it might be nice to have something 
> published," followed by the WONDERFUL folk at Single Cell Press 
> (out of Glasgow - so fitting) agreeing to publish this first 
> installment in what I see as a "Jandek trilogy," three weeks of 
> editing, re-writing, re-thinking and ultimately agreeing on 63 
> pages of content, coming out this month on Single Cell Press, and 
> which I will be reading from the day after the Toronto show and the 
> day before the Chicago one. 
> And now for more specific details: in Toronto I'll be at Circus 
> Books and Music on Monday, September 18th at 6 PM. This is located 
> at 253 Gerrard Street East (I'll give better directions and a phone 
> number in a following email as I figure it out myself) and should 
> be a blast. From there I get to make a maddash back over the border 
> to read at Quimby's Books in Chicago (154 W Northern Street, 
> Chicago - more info www.quimbys.com) at 7 PM Tuesday the 19TH at 7 
> PM. I can promise the best excerpts I can come up with from the 
> book, which is closest to dark Southern Literature (it's what I 
> write), tracing the future Corwood Rep's life from childhood to his 
> garage band days, growing up in the Ozark Mountains admist much 
> family turmoil (his mother and father leave him to care for his 
> developmentally disabled brother at one point - his mother moving 
> off to Kansas City and Dad going on a six-month bender). There are 
> also other fictiionally recast real people here, most significantly 
> oneFrank Stanford, whose poetry you can check at 
> www.alsopreview.com. Stanford is the young narrator's shadow twin, 
> so to speak, and also the person who gets said narrator to take his 
> musical roots and do something with them. Frank happens to be 
> married to Nancy, who ends up singing for the original garage band 
> (and John, the drummer, lifts many of the instruments from "people 
> who won't miss them). It includes sections of the narrator 
> developing the guitar sound (which, by the way, I picked out myself 
> on a 40's era black Gibson acoustic, picking at the strings over 
> Charley Patton songs until it emulated what Jandek does on the 
> early acoustic albums) and falling in love - not with Nancy, but 
> with Frank's fiery sister Jessica. There's also "fictionalized' 
> versions of Son House (he gets a great scene) and a poet/novelist 
> named James Whitehead who's well worth checking out.
> Okay, that's enough. If you want more I've got a few excerots up at 
> the Myspace page I've created for this puppy: 
> www.myspace.com/niagrablues. I'll keep updates going there. Also, 
> please check my publisher's website at www.singlecellpress.co.uk, 
> as this is where the book will be available (unless you buy it 
> direct from me). While you're there, pick up a copy of Jackie 
> Gilroy's slang-crazed "Thugs and Thieves." The writing style of our 
> books couldn't be any more different and yet there's a communal 
> spirit there. But seriously, Gilroy is the rightful heir to 
> Bukowski, and I mean that lovingly. My book is probably closer to 
> Carson McCullers' "Ballad of the Sad Cafe" or maybe a bit of Cormac 
> McCarthy, but I've worked hard to have it be it's OWN thing first 
> and foremost. Hope anyone who reads it feels the same.
> Anyway, PLEASE contact me for more info. Now that I can relax 
> (having finally written this) I can say that I hope at least some 
> of you can attend these events - I intend for it to be a pretty 
> wild tour: Jandek on Sunday, my reading on Monday, another reading 
> on Tuesday, Jandek on Wednesday and then I sleep for a week. 
> Somehow my employer at the University has decided this is a good 
> "academic" thing and is supporting this, so I feel all "official." 
> I don't know. Books will be dead cheap (I've got to move them - you 
> knew that was coming, right?) but the readings are free. And hey, I 
> intend to max out a credit card buying pitchers afterward. 
> Seriously. Also, if anyone has floorspace in Toronto or Chicago let 
> me know. This was going to be a family trip but looks like it's a 
> solo thing now (a cost-efficient idea - got the wife and kids' 
> support but this is gonna be a bit intense for young ones), so I 
> find myself in need of floor space. I'll even bring my own pillow 
> and free books
> a'plenty. I also make a mean coffee.
> Oh, and finally, there is a tour "pre-launch" radio show at 88.3 
> KXUA radio from the University of Arkansas next Wed night at 9 pm 
> CST. Fear not, non Arkansans (which is what, all of you?) - it will 
> be streamed on the net. I'll get details for that in the next few 
> days, but PLEASE, if you happen to listen in, call and request. 
> It's going to be a very loose show covering what I feel is his key 
> moments mixed in with some of the Summersteps' tributes (including 
> stuff off the new Corwood Variations handmade - I think the "Om" is 
> a must) and a few "Corwood influences" like Blind Willie Johnson. 
> This is going to be three hours long and something special indeed. 
> I'll also read a few short passages from the book.
> Whew! Okay, I've done it. Thanks for your patience (those who made 
> it this far) and I hope a few of you can make the readings. I think 
> you all know the great respect I have for this artist so please 
> trust that I've put TREMENDOUS effort in making this as good a 
> story as possible, staying true to the roots of Corwood 
> Industries.I'm proud to say that I got the "thumbs up" from Corwood 
> last week in a lovingly detailed letter that gave what may be the 
> world's first lyric correction from the source: the opening passage 
> from "Niagra Blues" should read: "Sometimes go to Niagra/sometimes 
> go the grave/crazy 'bout your dreamer/crazy 'bout your dark night." 
> And here, for thirteen years, I've thought the "uh" after dream was 
> an inflection. Wow.
> And again, any questions please send my way. As I said, more 
> detailed maps and such as we get closer to reading dates. Books 
> will be for sale until Single Cell Press is so tired of me they 
> toss the rest in the ocean. Thanks again for listening, all!
> Danen
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