[Jandek] Chicago - "Is this on?"

Danen D. Jobe djobe at uark.edu
Thu Sep 21 10:40:14 PDT 2006

Don't have much time to write at the moment, but DEAR LORD.

I was real worried at first - noisy bar, smoky environment, etc. There was no stand for his lyrics either, which he had to request, and then the mic wasn't working ("is this on" became his sole "on stage speech" to this point. Funny).

The band were TREMENDOUS. This rocked harder than anything I'd ever seen him do, with a rolling bass hitting off John McEntire's often double-timed drums. The lyrics were about prison, God, and a topless girl in a red skirt. The singing was very controlled - he took a bit of what he was doing in Toronto and combined it with "the howl." I took a friend who'd never heard of Jandek until a few days earlier (he went to see my reading and decided to take in the concert). After the show he said, "I can't imagine the records could equal that." Had to explain that the records were a whole other deal. But really, the man is setting the bar right now. Both of these shows, I felt, put a new high water mark. Where he goes from here will be very exciting.

gotta go,


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