[Jandek] Jandek vs. Jandek in Toronto

justchester at mac.com justchester at mac.com
Mon Sep 18 13:05:12 PDT 2006

...and there'll be a "mix" of all five cameras as well.  The music mix should be amazing (we miked the crowd as well), and we're hoping for one of the top film mixers to join the party.  Start cutting early October;  should be done in a couple of weeks.   
On Monday, September 18, 2006, at 03:57PM, Danen D. Jobe <djobe at uark.edu> wrote:

>Want to add to Seth's comments that it was a sister-show of sorts to "the Cell" (didn't see Brooklyn), but wanted to point out that the band were amazing. The integration between musicians was the most jazz-like of any show I've seen, and at times the passages built to a sort of catharsis.
>I took the "him" in this to be about a lot of things - one possibility being perhaps a father or brother? Someone close who passes away. There's definitly other lines that seemed to be about God, (though often in a funny way - "he got so high he forgot the solar system" - something like that). Overall I was VERY impressed. There was a mirror to the right of the stage and from where I was sitting you could see him reflected in it. At times he was singing to himself. Again, the communication with the band was effortless.
>I get the feeling Chicago's going to be a rock-out, as well. But I thought this was terrific. Five camera's, and more sound control than Corwood's ever had. Thank Gary Topp for it - he paid for it all. I understand that ALL five camera angles will be used individually as "that's what we normally do." Can also say that the Newcastle Sunday DVD will be out "in a few weeks." Wonderful time, wonderful show, wonderful group of people here. And yes, I met the Corwood Rep (after all this time!) and yes he's a great guy. There's nothing else to say, really. Wish this were coming out soon.
>My first reading tonight - we'll see how it goes! Had the joy of being searched at customs yesterday, but here I am. I'll try to add more later, but the time is running out on my public computer. 
>----- Original Message -----
>From: Seth Tisue <seth at tisue.net>
>Date: Monday, September 18, 2006 8:44 am
>Subject: [Jandek] Jandek vs. Jandek in Toronto
>To: jandek at mylist.net
>> Someone announces that the show is being recorded, in both audio and
>> video, for Corwood, so "no flash photography" please -- a 
>> relaxation of
>> the usual no-photography-at-all policy?
>> Jandek takes the stage in his usual garb, except his shirt's a lighter
>> shade than usual.  He tests the mike over his keyboards with the 
>> tap of
>> a finger; looks like we'll get some vocals tonight.  (After 
>> Finland, you
>> never know.)
>> We knew to expect the Korgs.  Smaller model above, full size 
>> below, just
>> like at the Manhattan show.  Same backing instruments as 
>> Manhattan, too:
>> electric guitar, double bass, drums.  The drums aren't assembled 
>> into a
>> drumkit; they stand individually, forming a low semicircle around the
>> drummer.  He's on the floor, no drumstool.  Glances are exchanged;
>> everyone's ready.  It's dark out in the audience and the stage is 
>> bathedin blue light.  For a moment the room is silent.
>> When the first notes from the keyboard ring out, my heart sinks.
>> Jandek's chosen a setting for the lower keyboard that sounds like
>> something you might hear on a new age CD you bought at the 
>> supermarket.It's dreadful.  I'm mollified when he starts playing 
>> the upper keyboard
>> too and I hear the same somber church-organ tones we heard in 
>> Manhattan,a sound well suited for funereal blues or just for a 
>> funeral.  But that
>> other keyboard sound remains a near-constant bummer for the next 90
>> minutes despite my struggles to tune it out.
>> The mix favors the vocals quite heavily; Jandek's voice seems to boom
>> out of the speaker I'm in front of.  Even so, the band's arsenal of
>> improviser's instrumental special effects is distracting during the
>> vocal passages.  They sound much better during some somber, murky,
>> intense all-instrumental sections, with the organ sound officiating.
>> Perhaps you've heard Glasgow Monday, aka "The Cell".  At that 2005 
>> show,Jandek introduced a new vocal style: half spoken, half sung, 
>> breathy,hushed.  In Manhattan last year, and again here tonight, 
>> he's adapted
>> that style for use with louder backing music; still spoken/sung, but
>> lower, more forcefully, changing to a wail or a moan here and 
>> there for
>> emphasis.
>> Musically it's the sequel to Manhattan, but lyrically it's like "The
>> Cell".  He's even more direct now about recovering from an 
>> illness.  He
>> mentions "the sickbed" several times, and describes his travails 
>> there."Afraid to die/ Afraid to live... Chemicals/ I destroy 
>> myself and live/
>> Unexpected revelation... Rising out of your own ruin... Germ warfare/
>> kill or be killed/ Story of cellular survival... Something must live
>> on...  He destroyed himself/ he continued anew."  Sounds like
>> chemotherapy to me.
>> Did you notice the switch from "I" to "he" in those lyrics, there? 
>> He
>> switches like that several more times and it puzzles me, but any doubt
>> that "he" and "I" are the same person are erased when he sings, "He
>> carried his art/ on his bones/ skin stretched over/ apparel hanging/
>> stick of a man..."  But why the different pronouns?
>> The division between "he" and "I" emerges as the dominant theme of the
>> evening: "He sprawled about the bed at night/ waiting for the 
>> dawn/ At
>> times I watched him/ Was he really me?...  He spoke, I listened/ He
>> moved, I watched."  As this split emerges, "I" is determined to take
>> charge: "I decided to make him/ do what I wanted/ I grew tired of the
>> years of regret... The moment had simply arrived/ Bursting through all
>> the blockades/ The whoosh of a torrent... I took responsibility/ 
>> He was
>> mine..."
>> "I" wants to take control of his own life by controlling "he", but
>> "he" doesn't always fall in line.  "Why can't I just kill him?" asks
>> "I".  "I crucify the thing he was/ I let him suffer/ He died for me"
>> -- the double meaning here, referencing Christ, is unmistakable.
>> (Later, too, there is a line comparing recovery from illness to rising
>> from the dead.)
>> In bed, our hero waxes metaphysical: "The sensation of 
>> mathematics/ His
>> thoughts took on an abstract isolation/ They resembled geometric
>> lines..."  But then, when he feels well enough, he returns to the
>> everyday world: "I walked for hours/ navigating the city."  He sees
>> people, buildings, cement, fire hydrants.  He witnesses "the march of
>> sex."  "I" even complains that "He forgot me in the panorama."
>> So, this was the third in Jandek's series of unified evening-length
>> lyrical presentations, after "The Cell" and whatever the Manhattan 
>> suitewas called ("Depression", perhaps).  I think he wanted to 
>> integrate and
>> contrast the darkness of the latter with the hope and peacefulness of
>> the former, all in a single work.  (And with dueling synth 
>> settings to
>> match.)  Another intriguing set of lyrics, for sure.  I wonder if 
>> Jandekwas making music during the period of illness and recovery 
>> that he
>> describes...?
>> In New York, the heavy downer night (Manhattan) was followed by a
>> night of amped-up catharsis (Brooklyn, 1st set).  So that means I'm
>> ready to rock out in Chicago this Wednesday.  Actually, I'm ready for
>> anything.
>> -- 
>> Seth Tisue | seth at tisue.net
>> http://tisue.net | http://www.flickr.com/photos/tisue/
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